Thursday, December 20, 2018

10 Little Known Facts About Harry Potter

If you’re a big fan of Harry Potter, you may think that you know all the facts and lore surrounding the series. I thought I was an expert on all things Harry Potter until I failed some of the harder Harry Potter trivia questions I ran into at The next time you’re being quizzed and Harry Potter questions come up, be armed and ready with these 10 little-known facts:

The Names Of the Hogwarts Houses Were Invented On The Back of a Barf Bag

Way back in the year 2000, Rowling was asked what it was that made her think of the names of her characters and the dormitories at Hogwarts. Her response was that she came up with the names and wrote them down on the back of an airplane sick bag!

Rupert Grint’s Audition Was Less Than Standard

Back when Grint was just 10 years old, he sent in a video audition for a part in the Harry Potter series. For the video, he pretended to be his female drama teacher and then did a rap about how he wanted to be Ron!

Harry’s Eyes Aren’t Green in the Movies For Good Reason

Radcliffe’s eyes are blue, but in the books, Harry’s eyes are supposed to be bright green. This presented a problem when the green contacts Radcliffe tried caused an allergic reaction. It was decided what was most important was that Harry’s eyes were similar to his mother’s so they instead chose to cast someone with a close resemblance to Radcliffe to play the part of Lily Potter.

The Brooms Used In The Series Were Made of Titanium

The brooms used throughout the series were no ordinary brooms! Crafted out of aircraft-grade titanium, the brooms needed to be able to handle the weight of the kids while they sat on them. Frequently, they had to be mounted to motion-controlled bases for green-screen shots, so it was necessary that they be strong enough to support 80 or more pounds.

Moaning Myrtle’s Part Was Played By a 36 Year Old

Moaning Myrtle may look like just another one of the kids, but did you know that the actress that played her, Shirley Henderson, was 36 when she played the part?
Shirley stated that due to the more technical nature of the role, playing the part of a ghost was actually more difficult than playing a real person!

Rowling Revealed That Dumbledore Was Gay

Back in 2007, Rowling was asked whether or not Dumbledore had ever been in love. She then revealed that she had always thought of him as gay and that he had even fallen in love with Grindelwald!

Moaning Myrtle Was Inspired by the Bathrooms of Rowling’s Youth

Rowling revealed on Pottermore that Moaning Myrtle, the whining ghost in the bathroom, was inspired by “the frequent presence of a crying girl in communal bathrooms” during her youth.

Ron Was Almost Killed Off Before the Battle of Hogwarts

Rowling’s original plan for the series was that none of the main trio of the series would die. Halfway through writing the series though, she found herself in a bit of a slump and, out of sheer spite, she thought it might be a good idea to kill off Ron. She reconsidered though and, we’re all glad she did!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Was Not the Only Title For The Final Book

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was not the only title that Rowling had come up with for the final book in the series. Also on the table were Harry Potter and the Peverell Quest and Harry Potter and the Elder Wand.

Seven Owls Were Cast to Play Hedwig

For the part of Hedwig the Owl, 7 different owls enjoyed the opportunity of playing the part! Their names were Swoops, Gizmo, Kasper, Oops, Oh Oh, Elmo, and Bandit.
With a body of work as large as the Harry Potter series, between the books and the movies, there are a lot of little-known tidbits of information out there. The next time you are amongst Harry Potter fans, you’ll surely impress with these obscure facts handy!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Evolution of the Order Picker

If you've ever worked in a warehouse, there's a good chance you've come across an order picker. These machines are often referred to as cherry pickers or selectors, and they've seen some significant changes over the years. Let's take a quick look at these machines to understand what they are used for and how they've become an integral part of many warehouses across the globe.

What is an order picker?

order picker forklift
An order picker is a type of forklift (also known as a lift truck) used to fill individual orders. These orders are either piece-part or case picks, as opposed to full pallet loads. So, for example, you might see a standard forklift scoop up an entire pallet of let's say, blenders, while an order picker would be used to select an individual boxed blender. Make sense? 

Order pickers are electric, as they're used indoors. More recent models have really pushed the envelope on the battery life for these machines, as some models are now able to work through multiple shifts on a single charge, greatly increasing the productivity of the warehouses where these machines are used.

Where are order pickers used?

Order pickers are used in warehouses that have multiple levels of items, and are particularly handy for locations with three levels or more. Traditionally, in these sorts of warehouses the solution to these sorts of picks was to use a rolling ladder. Obviously, this had some drawbacks (safety being a big one), so the order picker has become the new standard. Many models can now reach heights of over 30 feet, allowing for much better use of vertical space and increasing the efficiency of the modern warehouse.

Given the explosion of SKUs in modern retail, it's important for warehouses to be able to stock a huge variety of items, making order pickers essential to the present and future of the material handling world.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Unique Ideas For Promotional Swag

Often when attending a long, technical trade conference, one of the most enjoyable parts of the event can be the so-called swag bag. While many trade shows do not have the bluster or budget to meet the standards of Oscar night bags, you can find great ways to get your promotional material out into the eye of the visitors at your conference, and they can have memorable fun the process.

One of the best ways to get your business's name out in front of prospective clients is to put it on something they will use every day. You need to find a balance between something that is cool and functional, and still something on which people are willing to carry a brand name. A nice watch is something a customer might wear all the time, but probably not something on which they will want your logo. Pens are a dime a dozen, and they end up in communities where you don't do business. You want to find something unique, and you will want to make certain your logo is prominent, but not overbearing.

usb thumb drive
One popular suggestion is a mobile phone charger, or a USB drive, especially if you are in a technical field. Those are both items folks use every day, often for business, and take with them when they travel. Its also something of which many are glad to have an extra.

Seasonal items are also popular. Sunglasses are great in the summer. Earmuffs or stocking caps are great in winter. This is especially important if you want other attendees asking people where they got that great umbrella, because they did not think to bring one to a conference in Seattle.

Quick, tasty snacks are another fantastic item, especially if you mainly want your clients' attention just during the conference. The dark chocolate or tasty snack bar that got them through the boring presentation before lunch might just do the trick. Also, local specialty items are often a hit. Think Georgia peanuts or California wine.

Eco-friendly items are very often appreciated, especially if your attendees are likely to be those most concerned about the environment. Reusable water bottles, flower seeds, or a live plant for their hotel room are some great ideas.

No matter what you do, remember, simple, usable, and fun are the key words to remember when putting together promotional material for a swag bag.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Where to Find the Best Free CNA Classes

cna nurse cartoon
If you are looking for a new career path, then perhaps you should further your education and become a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA). Since there is a shortage of qualified nurses nationwide, this career path will provide any individual with a stable salary and benefits. Because of the growing need for nurses, many companies are providing free classes for those who are interested in this field.

Nursing is a growing, stable field that can provide an individual with financial security. There are a variety of classes that you are required to take in order to sit for the exam. For example, you have to take various classes relating to patient care and must understand how to administer vitals. You also have to take classes pertaining to nutrition and emergency care procedures. Before starting any CNA program, investigate the classes needed for the certificate.

Unfortunately, some people may not have the money available to pay for the classes needed to become a CNA. In many cases, individuals take out expensive loans to pay for their CNA certificate. However, are there free classes available for those looking to advance their career?

Governmental Agencies

Throughout the country, there are many free or low cost classes available for future CNAs. In many cases, governmental agencies provide either the classes for free or award the student a grant to pay for a class. Many of these classes are funded by the government and managed by a non-profit. For example, within the state of California, the Red Cross administers many free or low cost classes for residents looking to obtain a CNA degree. They provide a list of classes at, many of which are online. Also, within New York, the Rochester Adult Education Center offers CNA courses for free for those who qualify. These classes will depend on your location so make sure you investigate the options available in your state.

Nursing Homes

If you are interested in working in a nursing home, then many of these organizations also provide free CNA training. Because of the grow elderly population, many nursing homes are looking to provide their own in-house and online, state approved training programs for their workers. This can be a great alternative because you can receive on the job training while still finishing your certificate. In many nursing homes, the employer may compensate you while you are earning your degree. Also, if you impress the employer, you may be offered a full-time, permanent job after receiving your certificate. On , they explain further why future CNAs should consider beginning their careers in a nursing home.

Job Corp or Training Programs

If you are at least 16 years old, there are various training programs that can provide you with a free CNA education. For example, Job Corp will help young adults receive their CNA certificate. In various locations, they will even provide the student with housing while achieving their degree. They will also provide students with various life skills.

Most of these programs will prepare you to take the CNA exam, a state-by-state administered assessment. This exam is designed to determine if you have developed the skills necessary to become a qualified CNA. For more information on the CNA exam, please see

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

What Does a Toxicology Report Show?

Toxicology reports can be an invaluable source of information following a person's death where there are unanswered questions. This is a forensic toxicology report and the one most people think of when hearing the term "toxicology report." Such reports can also be clinical in nature, as in the type of testing a doctor may request when a patient suffers an overdose. In a nutshell, toxicology reports present an analysis of what was within a person's system at the time samples were taken.

How Is a Toxicology Report Prepared?

Prepared in a lab, toxicology reports are based results of a collection of fluid and tissue samples. A series of tests will be performed to identify specific substances. Preparation will also depend on the purpose of the report. For a forensic toxicology report, for instance, multiple samples will be taken from various organs since substances accumulate at different levels within the body. A typical report will be a summary of several separate tests performed in a supervised setting by trained technicians.

What's Included in the Report?

The primary results of a toxicology report will include a listing of all substances identified in an individual's system. Stomach and liver contents will likely be evaluated and analyzed since these are areas where substances often accumulate or travel when ingested. A typical toxicology report often includes:

  • Detailed measurements of substances 
  • Charts and graphs to allow for quick scanning 
  • Sign-offs from laboratory technicians, doctors and other experts or medical professionals who reviewed the report for accuracy

Who Uses a Toxicology Report?

A typical toxicology report is used by medical examiners or crime investigators to determine an accurate cause of death. Toxicology data can also be used by coaches and team officials to screen athletes for banned substances, which is often a requirement prior to a competition. These reports may also be used by:

  • Employers requesting routine drug testing for potential new hires 
  • Court officials who need to confirm that someone has remained "clean" 
  • Addiction treatment facilities to test patients currently in treatment

If you've seen toxicology reports referred to on television shows or movies, you would assume the results would be produced fairly quickly. In reality, it takes anywhere from a few weeks to several months to gather the information presented within a typical toxicology report to ensure accuracy. Regardless of what information is being requested, toxicology reports are considered to be highly reliable when prepared in accordance with accepted standards.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Amazing Advances In Neuroscience

English: Drawing of the human brain, from the ...

The human brain is one of, if not the least, understood item on the human body. Despite our inability to crack all of the codes of the human brain, it's amazing to look back on some of the advancements we have made in understanding the brain. Here are some of the most important advances in the history of neuroscience.
  • Camilo Golgi and Santiago Ramon y Cajal discover through a unique staining method and Cajal discovers the brain is made of individual nerve cells which he deems "neurons".
  • Paul Broca discovers the left frontal lobe is responsible for speech through examining a series of damaged brains. He is the first to understand that the brain has areas with specilized function.
  • In 1906 Alois Alzheimer gives a lecture on his findings on Alzheimers, as he sees symptoms in patients with plaques and tangles in their brains and lays out the defining characteristics.
  • Walter B. Cannon coins the term "fight or flight" after discovering the physiological affects of stressful situations.
  • Medical imaging devices like PET scans, CAT scans and MRIs allow previously unheard of ability to monitor the activity of the brain.
What other major advances should be on this list?

-Provided by Lansing Neurosurgery.

Friday, June 23, 2006

No need to pray for Superman folks...

It's a stellar achievement. I can finally exhale. More thorough thoughts on this and other 2006 releases when the site gears back up next month. But I had to at least comment briefly:

The negative reviews will attempt to single out bad casting (true in one, MAYBE two cases - but the two principles work quite wonderfully), poor conception (as a partner to the first two films, and a jumping off point for the rest of the series, the conception is just right in my view) and perhaps even lack of emotional connectivity in the romance (an absurd notion, as this very complicated emotional story plays out exactly as it should - there is no romance here, folks...not yet). The one bit I read regarding a lack of action was certainly out of left field, as there are set pieces galore, and plenty to write home about.

Anyway, this isn't the Superman film I wanted in full, but it's a damn fine effort and a better than average outing all around. If it doesn't take you back to childhood, something might be wrong.